Eligibility and how to apply for free school meals.

  • From September 2014, all pupils in years R, 1 and 2 are entitled to school meals under the Government's Universal Free Meals policy. 
  • Parents of children in this age group are still encouraged to make an application for Free School Meals if they believe they meet the eligibility criteria, because this also generates the Pupil Premium, which gives schools additional funding.
  • Parents of older children/young people may not have to pay for school lunches if they meet the eligibility criteria, and this also generates the Pupil Premium which gives schools additional funding.

Eligibility criteria

You may be eligible for free school meals if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment finishes or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week

Pupils who do not qualify for free school lunches must be charged the same amount for the same quantity of the same item.

How to apply for free school meals